African-American Baptists and World War II.
What was the relationship between African-American Baptists and World War II? This article examines how the two were related.
The focus is on the beliefs, views, and theology of black Baptists regarding World War II and not on the participation of Baptist individuals or groups of Baptists in the war effort or other activities in support of the war. Furthermore, there are a number of contextual and deductive de·duc·tive
1. Of or based on deduction.
2. Involving or using deduction in reasoning.
de·duc aspects of examining the topic.
First, we must note that African Americans have had a long and consistent history of support of and physical involvement in American wars. (1) Indeed, African Americans have fought in every one of America's wars. Some brief observations might suffice to highlight this point. One of the first individuals, if not the first, to die in the early battles of the American Revolutionary War was Crispus Attucks Crispus Attucks (c. 1723 – March 5, 1770), was the first of five people killed in the Boston Massacre. He has been frequently named as the first martyr for the cause of American Independence and is the only person of the five killed whose name is commonly remembered. . Actually, African Americans, free and enslaved Enslaved may refer to:
Expressing or conferring praise: a laudatory review of the new play.
(of speech or writing) expressing praise
Adj. comments regarding black fighting men in the War of 1812. In the Seminole Wars Seminole Wars
(1817–18, 1835–42, 1855–58) Three conflicts between the U.S. and the Seminole Indians of Florida. The first began when U.S. authorities tried to recapture runaway slaves living among Seminole bands. After U.S. , blacks fought on both sides, with the U.S. government and others as members of the Seminoles. (2)
Of course, we know that the introduction of black soldiers on the side of the Union during the Civil War played a great role in reversing the tides of a conflict hitherto being won by the Confederacy Confederacy, name commonly given to the Confederate States of America (1861–65), the government established by the Southern states of the United States after their secession from the Union. . In that conflict, black men and women served as scouts, spies, and chaplains. There were even some blacks who fought for the Confederacy!
In 1898, black Christian denominations List of Christian denominations (or Denominations self-identified as Christian) ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships. (See also: Christianity; Christian denominations).
Some groups are large (e.g. endorsed the United States's actions in its war against Spain. Church leaders passed resolutions and encouraged young black men to prove their loyalty and patriotism, which many of them succeeded in doing. (3)
The same set of factors obtained for World War I. As we examine black Baptist support of World War II, we are exploring not a unique phenomenon but one common in American history before and since that great conflict.
Second, there is a contextual note regarding African Americans in general and black Baptists in particular and their respective support of American wars generally And World War II especially. As seen by previous comments, black Christians supported war out of a sense of national patriotism. The conviction regarding all wars prior to World War II was that black people's enthusiastic support off and on the field of battle would demonstrate to all Americans, even to blacks' worst enemies, black people's proven loyalty. Black people hoped that this loyalty would remove any doubt or hesitancy hes·i·tan·cy
An involuntary delay or inability in starting the urinary stream. in terms of recognizing and respecting their rights to full, first-class citizenship with all the rights and favorable sentiments appertaining there-unto.
To be sure, the lynching of some black soldiers in their uniforms upon their return from World War I had clearly dampened the ardor ar·dor
1. Fiery intensity of feeling. See Synonyms at passion.
2. Strong enthusiasm or devotion; zeal: "The dazzling conquest of Mexico gave a new impulse to the ardor of discovery" of this conviction of the power of demonstrated bravery and loyalty to melt the stony heart of racial prejudice. Nonetheless, this belief still manifested itself in black secular and religious circles.
Third, regarding black support of World War II, African Americans possessed a strong historic identity with the ideals and values of America. From the earliest years of the nation, and even prior, African-American Baptists as well as the larger black community embraced wholeheartedly whole·heart·ed
Marked by unconditional commitment, unstinting devotion, or unreserved enthusiasm: wholehearted approval.
whole the American values of freedom, justice, and democracy. The one critique, all encompassing as it was, proffered by African Americans was that white Americans steadfastly refused to practice the American credo in application to African Americans. The great majority of blacks, currently and historically, have consistently eschewed Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism as deadly enemies to the American way The American way of life is an expression that refers to the "life style" of people living in the United States of America. It is an example of a behavioral modality, developed from the 17th century until today. of life and the Christian faith. The successive and, at times, concurrent struggles against racism, slavery, segregation, disfranchisement The removal of the rights and privileges inherent in an association with a group; the taking away of the rights of a free citizen, especially the right to vote. Sometimes called disenfranchisement. , racial terrorism, and unequal opportunities have been waged legally and morally under the twin banners of a pure, genuine Christianity and an America living true to its ideals of freedom and justice. Therefore, many black Baptists exercised little reluctance in supporting the Allied forces against Fascism and Nazism.
The two previous points, however, must be balanced by this fourth one. A strong peace tradition has existed in the African American Christian history. While black Christians have supported America's wars, they have not by and large exhibited jingoistic, "my country right or wrong," positions. Perhaps the African-American experiences with the harshness and contradictions of the nation's history have inclined them to be more self-critical than one might discover among their white counterparts, Baptists and non-Baptists. In black-American major denominations, such as Baptists, who do not have a strong pacifist tradition, we see a clear hesitancy to glorify war both because of its sheer ugliness and brutality and the deep conviction that war is contrary to God's will Noun 1. God's Will - the omnipotence of a divine being
omnipotence - the state of being omnipotent; having unlimited power . Black Baptists did not press their pacifist or peace leanings as far as Charles Harrison Mason should be added to this article, to conform with Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
Please discuss this issue on the talk page. , the founder of the Church of God in Christ The Church of God in Christ, Incorporated is the nation's largest Pentecostal and African-American Christian denomination.  History
The Church of God in Christ, commonly referred to by its acronym, COGIC , who refused military service in World War I. African-American Baptists certainly did not agree with the Nation of Islam Nation of Islam: see Black Muslims.
Nation of Islam
or Black Muslims
African American religious movement that mingles elements of Islam and black nationalism. It was founded in 1931 by Wallace D. founded in the 1930s that rejected any war for white people's governments. (4) Black Baptists recognized that some armed conflicts are inevitable but supported them more as "necessary evils" or "compromised goods" rather than glorious battles ennobled because they were fought for God and country.
Fifth, a review of black Baptists' support, involvement in, and discussions of World War II reflects that the war had the effect of heightening the sense of racial injustice and inequality in the U.S. Surely racial prejudice was sufficiently powerful that black people needed no reminders of its severity. But a nation mobilized to save civilization and democracy certainly added to the urgency to overthrow discrimination. The words of one black soldier widely quoted during the war years succinctly captured the sense of contradiction felt by many blacks, Baptist and non-Baptist, military and civilian, between serving their country and enduring continued racial prejudice. In the event of his death, this soldier suggested the epitaph epitaph, strictly, an inscription on a tomb; by extension, a statement, usually in verse, commemorating the dead. The earliest such inscriptions are those found on Egyptian sarcophagi. : "Here lies a black man killed fighting a yellow man to protect a white man." (5)
The preceding point is a fitting segue to our sixth and final point concerning African-American Baptists and the Second World War. While the nation at large operated under the motto of "V for victory," African Americans embraced the slogan "Double V," victory at home over discrimination and abroad against the forces of Fascism and Nazism. William E. B. Du Bois Du Bois (d`bois, dəbois`), city (1990 pop. 8,286), Clearfield co., W central Pa., in the region of the Allegheny plateau; inc. 1881. , educator and human rights activist, during the First World War, to his later regret, called for a type of moratorium on certain civil rights activities to demonstrate unity in the struggle against America's foes. By the time of the Second World War, however, such sentiment among blacks had drastically changed.
Blacks were to conduct a two-pronged war--against two sets of Hitlers, Mussolinis, and Hirohitos-those abroad and those at home. The goal was to make the U.S. as hospitable for Christianity, civilization, and democracy for blacks as the rest of the world was to be made suitable for these qualities. As we examine events leading up to World War II, we pay special attention to the National Baptist Convention National Baptist Convention is the name of several historically African-American Christian denominations, among which are the following:
NBCI North Branch Correctional Institute (Maryland)
NBCI National Broadcasting Company Internet/Interactive ) national gatherings in 1942 (during the war) and 1947 (one year after the conflict) and witness the manifestation of the preceding referenced points.
Events Leading to World War II and Black Baptists
A collection of events and statements pointed the way to African-American support of the U.S. efforts in the Second World War. One event was the Italian-Ethiopian War of 1936.
During the late 1800s, Italy sought to have its own colonial presence in Africa by bringing one of the few remaining independent black states under its control. In the Battle of Adwa The Battle of Adwa (also known as Adowa or sometimes by the Italian name Adua) was fought on 1 March, 1896 between Ethiopia and Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray. It was the climactic battle of the First Italo–Ethiopian War. in 1896, the Italian forces met defeat at the hands of the Ethiopians defending their homeland. Such a loss at the hands of a nonwhite non·white
A person who is not white.
nonwhite adj. , black people caused severe embarrassment for Italy and a blow to the racially superior attitudes of other European nations. But it was a source of intense pride for African Americans. For blacks, Ethiopia, with a rich cultural legacy better known and acknowledged among non-Africans than those of most African peoples, had long stood as a source of pride and hope for African Americans facing chattel chattel (chăt`əl), in law, any property other than a freehold estate in land (see tenure). A chattel is treated as personal property rather than real property regardless of whether it is movable or immovable (see property). slavery and other aspects of racial prejudice.
In 1936, however, Benito Mussolini, the Italian leader, saw an opportunity to heal the wounded Italian pride while securing colonial possessions. This time a modernized Italy defeated a non-industrialized Ethiopia, forcing the new emperor, Halle Selassie, into exile. But the Ethiopian cause and the person of Selassie captivated cap·ti·vate
tr.v. cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing, cap·ti·vates
1. To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm.
2. Archaic To capture. African Americans. They had little reluctance to fight an Axis alliance composed of a nation that had so imperially subjected a free, black, African people. (6)
The rise of Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler's espousal of fascism and racial superiority equally alarmed African Americans. The display of disrespect that Hitler personally demonstrated toward Jesse Owens and other black athletes in the Olympic games Olympic games, premier athletic meeting of ancient Greece, and, in modern times, series of international sports contests. The Olympics of Ancient Greece
Although records cannot verify games earlier than 776 B.C. gave concrete expression to his racism. For some time, African-American Baptist leaders had watched the rise of Hitlerism. In 1937, Lewis G. Jordan, Baptist leader and historian, in his twelfth report to the NBCI spoke of "desperate attempts" by Russia and Germany to entice African Americans into accepting their godless god·less
1. Recognizing or worshiping no god.
2. Wicked, impious, or immoral.
godless·ly adv. philosophies. Jordan attached to Communism the qualities of "hatred, dishonesty, murder, violence, strife, bloodshed, and disloyalty dis·loy·al·ty
n. pl. dis·loy·al·ties
1. The quality of being disloyal; faithlessness.
2. A disloyal act.
Noun 1. ." (7)
NBCI President Lacy Kirk Williams in his address spoke in equally harsh terms about Communism, calling it a "menace," "heartless materialism," anti-American, antihuman and anti-God system," "atheistic a·the·is·tic also a·the·is·ti·cal
1. Relating to or characteristic of atheism or atheists.
2. Inclined to atheism.
a " and "a scourge of the Devil." Nor did he think very highly of Russian Communism's efforts at commissioning "women and mothers to foundries and factories in a cruel competition with men" or of Communism's introduction of women to "the horrors and scourge of the battlefields." Williams felt that Communism "nationalizes children and makes man the slave of the state," taking away "his liberty and property." (8)
Another leading black Baptist, Joseph Harrison Jackson, addressed the dangers posed by Hitler. Jackson at that time was corresponding secretary of the NBCI's Foreign Mission Board and later served for about thirty years as the NBCI president. In 1938, Jackson condemned fascism, Nazism, racial supremacy, and totalitarianism as "stalwart enemies of the Cross of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. ." He saw these philosophies or ideologies as direct attacks on the nature of humanity as defined by Christianity. (9)
Later in 1942, another Jackson, J. C. Jackson, addressed the New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. Baptist Missionary Convention. He wished the nation well in its struggle against totalitarianism but decried the discriminatory treatment of black soldiers training in the South. He spoke of brutalities, humiliations, and murder of soldiers, sometimes even while uniformed.
Colored Americans are super patriots, 100 per cent Americans by birth and love of country, who are being trained to fight, and if need be to die for their native land and for democracy, although they do not fully share equally in its beneficences.... (10)
The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Meeting in 1942
At the 1942 assembly of the NBCI in Memphis, Tennessee For the ancient Egyptian capital, see .
Memphis is a city in the southwest corner of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. Memphis rises above the Mississippi River on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff just below the mouth of the Wolf River. , the war and treatment of African Americans during the war received much attention. The convention passed a resolution condemning discrimination in travel. Of the four specific cases mentioned, two of them involved black soldiers. The convention condemned discrimination and appealed to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to exercise his wartime powers to eradicate this injustice. A number of stellar leaders in black Baptist circles served on the committee offering this resolution, including Martin Luther King Sr., Walter H. Brooks, Nannie Helen Burroughs Nannie Helen Burroughs, (May 2 1879 – May 20 1961) was an influential African American educator, orator, religious leader and businesswoman. She gained national recognition from her 1900 speech "How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping." at the National Baptist Convention. , and D. V. Jemison Sr. (11)
Women, via the Woman's Convention Auxiliary to the NBCI, commented at even greater lengths about blacks and the war. A report from the Young People's Department saw Nazism as a threat to Christianity and civilization, reviewed the nation's wars and black participation therein, and assured the nation that blacks would remain patriotic during this conflict as they had in all other wars. (12)
Nannie Helen Burroughs, the founder and corresponding secretary of the Woman's Convention, had some extended comments. She equated those in the U.S. who refused to stand up for equality, justice, and human rights in the nation to small Hitlers. After condemning sharecropping sharecropping, system of farm tenancy once common in some parts of the United States. In the United States the institution arose at the end of the Civil War out of the plantation system. Many planters had ample land but little money for wages. as a holdover hold·o·ver
One that is held over from an earlier time: a political advisor who was a holdover from the Reagan era; a family tradition that is a holdover from my grandparents' childhood.
Noun 1. from slavery, Burroughs turned her attention again to the international arena. She expressed sympathy for the Czechs, Poles, and Jews who suffered during the war but wondered if when they were free they would join other whites to make freedom a white preserve. Despite Executive Order 8802, Burroughs insisted that discrimination was very profound even in government hiring.
In a section of her report titled "Democracy's Own Crime," Burroughs noted that of the two million men called for military service--nine hundred thousand were unprepared physically because of disabilities but one hundred thousand of them were educationally unprepared. She then proceeded to link this fact with her call for racial freedom and inclusion. She argued that if the nation committed itself to educational opportunity for all its citizens, it would have citizens ready for war and peace. This would save much expense if training was an on-going process rather than an exercise done haphazardly as emergencies arose.
Burroughs then turned her attention to the postwar world. War itself had meant an expansion of job opportunities for African Americans. But after the war there would be competition from immigrants from other countries, including those from Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. , Burroughs predicted. Black people must prepare themselves to compete for these new opportunities, struggling to keep doors opened to them by the wartime situation. Interestingly, Burroughs emphasized self-help and taking responsibilities, a stance that fit the social-political philosophy of many African-American leaders at the time. She did not in this instance expend much energy talking about governmental assistance. During these rough decades, blacks had to depend on themselves and had little reason to expect the federal or state governments do much for African Americans and the particular challenges they faced. (13)
Other black-Baptist voices expresser their viewpoints regarding the involvement of African Americans in the war and what the conflict meant. The annual report of the national director of the Young People's Department pointed out that three hundred and fifty thousand African Americans were involved in "the world's greatest conflict, war." The director provided a theological explanation of the conflict: people fight because they lack love. Christians must enlist soldiers in another army, the Lord's militia, in order to gain a victory that is truly eternal. (14)
Miss Primrose Funches, the western director of the Young People's Department, also remarked on the war in her annual report. In reading her comments, one gets no sense that she believed that the U.S. should not have been involved in the war. War is regrettable and not God's will, but people must do what they must, she seems to have assumed. Funches did put a very human and divine face on the war. She noted that people were losing their lives and killing people, beings made in God's image.
She also noted the sacrifices of youth taking on responsibilities to secure the world's future and the church. Funches spoke of youth having to surrender educational plans-with education so vitally needed. Youth were delaying marriage; young men were donning uniforms for service on the battlefields; women were serving in the WACS WACS World Association of Cooks Societies
WACS World Association of Chefs' Societies
WACS White Alice Communications System
WACS Wireless Access Communication System(s)
WACS Wire and Cable Services and working with other groups to protect the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and its values. Many civilian men and women were engaged in jobs vital to the success of the war effort. Just as others at the convention, Funches reminded assembled Baptists that as important as this war was, only the war fought for Christ and against evil provides the true, lasting victory. (15)
In one sense, this is a theologically realistic assessment of the limitations of human endeavors. One wonders if it might not also be a lesson learned from the conclusion of the First World War. The nation entered that conflict to end all wars only to find many African-American servicemen beaten and murdered upon their return to the States while in uniform. That a generation later the world once again was embroiled em·broil
tr.v. em·broiled, em·broil·ing, em·broils
1. To involve in argument, contention, or hostile actions: "Avoid . . . in worldwide military conflict also concerned them.
Minutes of regional meetings included in the minutes of the 1942 NBCI convention illustrate the pride women took that they were actively engaged in supporting the war effort. There was also, perhaps, a willingness to suggest in concrete terms to some male observers that women were not to be relegated to the domain of the domestic and the feminine. At the Southwestern and Southeastern regional meeting of the Woman's Auxiliary meeting in March 1942, D. V. Jemison of Selma, Alabama Selma is a city in Alabama located on the banks of the Alabama River in Dallas County, Alabama, of which it is the county seat. As of the last census, the population of the city is 20,512. , addressed the assembled group in Tupelo, Mississippi Tupelo (IPA: [tu:pəlo]) is the largest city and county seat within Lee County, Mississippi. It is the eighth largest city in the state of Mississippi, smaller than Meridian, and larger than Olive Branch. . The recorder mentioned that "Dr. Jemison's message was one of deep thought, logic, and high appreciation for pure womanhood." But the recorder also noted the comments of the president of the Auxiliary, Mrs. S. Willie Layten, in her remarks on the NBCI president's address.
His address was commented upon by President Layten who laid bare the facts of the noble part of the world's great work that is being done by woman, emphasizing the part that she may play in the Country's Defense Program. (16)
While I do not have a transcript or even a more detailed account of his speech, one wonders if Jemison's discussion of "pure womanhood" was an emphasis on the conventional, traditional view of women, stressing moral strength and suggesting verbally silent and nonassertive witness to modesty and meekness. One wonders if he might have counseled women to be more feminine and traditional since many religious men, white and black, were not very happy about the changing roles in society women as were playing as a consequence of wartime conditions. It is possible that Layten saw the necessity to comment on Jemison's address to correct (or lay "bare the facts") that women have traditionally been deeply involved in hard work, risky, and nonconventional activities in the world and insisting that women would continue to play such roles "in the Country's Defense Program."
About a month later in April 1942, when Jemison addressed the Western and Pacific Regional Meeting of the Auxiliary meeting in Des Moines, Iowa “Des Moines” redirects here. For other uses, see Des Moines (disambiguation).
Des Moines (pronounced /dɪˈmɔɪn/ in English, , he apparently did not speak of "pure womanhood" but about the effectiveness of women's leadership. The recorder says that on this occasion Jemison "gave encouraging words and paid high tribute to the woman of the National Auxiliary Convention and our excellent leadership, President Layten." (17)
Is it possible that Jemison had felt firmly corrected by Layten's comments at the earlier convention? Perhaps this researcher is reading into the words of these leaders, especially Jemison, points of view of stances foreign to their intents But if such an interpretation can be proven to be historically accurate, it would reflect the assertive role that African-American Baptist women in many ways, including the Woman's Auxiliary, had historically played and were playing in the work of the church on the international stage.
The preceding hypothetical interpretation by this researcher, in addition, represents the tensions that sometimes came to the fore between male leaders with more traditional views of what should be women's activities, on one hand, and, on the other, women leaders' (and some male supporters') steadfast insistence that women continue to engage in unconventional or "unfeminine" activities and take advantage of any new opportunities.
1947 NBCI Convention
An examination of Jemison's and Layten's comments at the 1947 National Baptist Convention meeting in Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Missouri. It encompasses parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest in Missouri, which includes counties in both Missouri and Kansas. , gives us postwar reflections on World War II and how it related to African Americans' continued insistence on first-class citizenship. Jemison, in his seventh annual message to the convention, reflected on the late World War II, noting how people had thought for centuries that world peace would come with the victory of a stronger, larger nation over weaker, smaller ones. Peace universal, they thought, would be established in this manner. But, Jemison said, it is God who governs the world, and the plans and schemes of peoples and nations cannot bring what is only accessible via God's righteousness and justice.
Nor is a rationalistic education devoid of moral content the answer for a better world. Germany had made that mistake. As glorious as education is, it must be fortified fortified (fôrt´fīd),
adj containing additives more potent than the principal ingredient. by morality or else it can be used for destructive ends. Christ has to occupy central place in the education of peoples around the world.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Jemison, "Germany became a godless nation because she set aside the Bible Luther gave her. Her soldiers carried around in their pockets the raving pagan philosophy of Nietzsche. Hence, Germany "went down." Now, America must be careful because this "German rationalism" is invading its educational system, poised to wreak havoc on the nation. (18)
Jemison's remarks at this convention demonstrated that black Baptists remained dedicated to the quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the freedom. Words regarding the necessity to change the souls of human beings to effect real change in the world should not be interpreted to mean that black religious leaders were adopting a quietistic qui·et·ism
1. A form of Christian mysticism enjoining passive contemplation and the beatific annihilation of the will.
2. A state of quietness and passivity. approach to civil rights. To improve the world and bring justice, the church must preach the pure gospel.
Lamenting racial prejudice and segregation at the recent Baptist World Alliance The Baptist World Alliance is a worldwide alliance of Baptist churches and organizations, formed in 1905 at Exeter Hall in London during the first Baptist World Congress. meeting at Copenhagen, Denmark, Jemison stated that the gospel purely preached with Christ accurately presented would eliminate racial prejudice. While the black preacher has freedom to preach the pure gospel, the white preacher, fearing dismissal by his church, feels compelled to preach an adulterated a·dul·ter·ate
tr.v. a·dul·ter·at·ed, a·dul·ter·at·ing, a·dul·ter·ates
To make impure by adding extraneous, improper, or inferior ingredients.
1. Spurious; adulterated.
2. Adulterous. gospel regarding race relations race relations
the relations between members of two or more races within a single community
race relations npl → relaciones fpl raciales
Martin Luther King Jr. made a sad discovery almost a decade later in Montgomery. Part of the problem of employing the Christian church to combat racial prejudice was not simply the fear of many white preachers to proclaim the true gospel but the strong conviction by many of them that segregation was not only consistent with the gospel but mandated by it!
Jemison contended that with the true understanding of the gospel, African-American Christians remained committed to goals such as fair trials rather than lynchings, an end to poll taxes, voting rights Voting rights
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. , and a fair and equal (though not necessarily integrated) education. Consistent with most black Christian leaders of the time, Jemison stated that African Americans, particularly those in the South, did not feel the necessity to worship with whites. Rather, they were "satisfied to worship in [their] own [churches] and to be educated among [their] own people." (19)
One could interpret these remarks in the context of a strong belief that full integration was not liable to occur anyway and that African-American leaders chose to place bettering the condition of the race over a commitment to an absolute and elusive principle of racial integration. On the other hand, these comments might reflect a commitment to a stance of racial pluralism--neither segregation nor a widespread type of integration or assimilation. At any rate, we find African-American Baptists after the conclusion of World War II equally if not more forcefully committed to the eradication of racial inequality racial inequality Racial disparity Social medicine, public health
A disparity in opportunity for socioeconomic advancement or access to goods and services based solely on race. See Women and health. as they were prior to the conflict.
At the Woman's Auxiliary Convention, President Layten turned her postwar attention to the international stage as well. She expressed concern about the future of European civilization. While the war had concluded, it remained unclear whether Europe would survive rather than devolve devolve v. when property is automatically transferred from one party to another by operation of law, without any act required of either past or present owner. The most common example is passing of title to the natural heir of a person upon his death. further into "misery and chaos." If this occurred, the U.S. would feel the effects.
According to Layten, Europe faced severe challenges in three major areas: physically in dealing with "hunger and suffering," psychologically in grappling with "fear and despair," and morally and spiritually in confronting the "lost of faith in anything." Yet, she did see some indications of spiritual energy among European Christians.
In remarks regarding world peace, Layten pointed out that everywhere people talked about one world--an ideal that Christians have always embraced. With the dropping of the atomic bomb atomic bomb or A-bomb, weapon deriving its explosive force from the release of atomic energy through the fission (splitting) of heavy nuclei (see nuclear energy). The first atomic bomb was produced at the Los Alamos, N.Mex. on Hiroshima on August 5, 1945, it became clear that there would be one world or none at all. But that world must be based on God's word, the Bible. Only a change of the human heart can bring about that one world. (20)
African-American Baptists, as most other black and white Christians, supported the effort of the U.S. in World War II to stop Fascism and Nazism. Furthermore, African Americans, including Baptists, while plainly and painfully aware of the persistence of racial discrimination, understood that the journey to first-class citizenship entailed the responsibilities of that status.
Optimism that black loyalty and commitment to the war effort would effect monumental changes in racial attitudes toward African Americans had declined from the years preceding World War I. Now, African-American Baptists understood that service to their country, though not assuring racial progress, helped to cement their claims to it.
What we have also witnessed in the preceding pages were the words and dedication of both women and men to the war effort. These men and women supported the war, maintained their Christian convictions, and rededicated themselves to achieving all the rights and opportunities belonging to American citizens.
(1.) For a very solid history of African Americans, see the classic John Hope Franklin Noun 1. John Hope Franklin - United States historian noted for studies of Black American history (born in 1915)
Franklin and Alfred A. Moss Jr., From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000), esp. pp. 84-91, 122-25, 238-43, 327-40, 360-74, and 481-92, for discussions on black involvement in wars up to and including World War II. Other helpful works for this article include: A. Russell Buchanan Russell A. Buchanan (January 24, 1900 - December 6, 2006) was one of the last surviving American veterans of the First World War. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and died in Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1918, Buchanan enlisted in the United States Navy at age 18. , Black Americans in World War II (Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Books, 1977; Neil A. Wynn, The Afro-American and the Second World War, rev. ed. (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Holmes & Meier, 1993); and Hayward Farrar, The Baltimore Afro-American, 1892-1950 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998), esp. pp. 157-76.
(2.) See Kenneth W. Porter, The Black Seminoles: History of Freedom-Seeking People, rev. and ed. by Alcione M. Amos and Thomas P. Senter (Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Florida, 1996), 3-107.
(3.) See, e.g., Sandy Dwayne Martin, For God and Race: The Religious and Political Leadership of AMEZ AMEZ African Methodist Episcopal Zion (church) Bishop James Walker Hood (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press The University of South Carolina Press (or USC Press), founded in 1944, is a university press that is part of the University of South Carolina. External link
• , 1999), 132-33.
(4.) Wynn, Afro-American, 104.
(5.) Ibid., 102.
(6.) Leslie Rollins, "Ethiopia, African Americans, and African-Consciousness: The Effect of Ethiopia and African-American Consciousness in Twentieth-Century America," Journal of Religious Thought 54 (Special Double Issue 2000): 1-25.
(7.) Minutes, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., 1937, 173.
(8.) Ibid., 252-61.
(9.) Leroy Fitts, A History of Black Baptists (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1985), 267-68.
(10.) Ibid., 268-69; quote on p. 269.
(11.) Minutes, NBCI, 1942, 51-52, 134.
(12.) Ibid., 234, 241,260-63.
(13.) For Burroughs's comments, see ibid., 1942, 271-77.
(14.) Ibid., 281.
(15.) Ibid., 1942, 283. For an account of African-American women in the armed services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters. during World War II, see Martha S. Putney, When the Nation Was in Need: Blacks in the Women's Army Corps Women's Army Corps: see WAC.
Women's Army Corps (WAC)
U.S. Army unit. It was established (as the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps) by Congress to enlist women for auxiliary noncombat duty in World War II. Its first head was Oveta C. Hobby. During World War II (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Scarecrow
goes to Wizard of Oz to get brains. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]
See : Ignorance
can’t live up to his name. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Am. Press, Inc., 1992).
(16.) Minutes, NBCI, 1942, 286.
(17.) Ibid., 1942, 290-91.
(18.) Ibid., 1947, 91.
(19.) Ibid., 1947, 95.
(20.) Ibid., 1947, 373-74.
Sandy Dwayne Martin is professor of religion and head, Department of Religion, University of Georgia Organization
The President of the University of Georgia (as of 2007, Michael F. Adams) is the head administrator and is appointed and overseen by the Georgia Board of Regents. , Athens.